History Just Keeps Getting Longer - Rachel Hansen

This year we have more history to teach than last year. It just keeps getting longer! That doesn’t mean we should teach less of it. When students learn to scale shift, history will become more meaningful and relevant as they begin to contextualize their place in the narrative.

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Parents
  • Scale is such a huge concept for 6th graders to wrestle with mentally.  We are constantly looking for ways to bring scale into the equation, and one of the best ways of zooming in and zooming out that we have found is bringing in local history.  Showing students how a particular Threshold of Increasing Complexity relates to their city, town, or location does wonders for making connections to the overall narrative.  For us, we are a University community, so the connections to many of the early units is quite easy.  Dr. James Kaler at the University of Illinois,is a world renowned astronomer who has come and spoken with our students about the life cycle of stars, and has a very impressive collection of meteorites from around the world.  He has been able to make connections for Units 2, 3, and 4, showing the students exactly how our city, in the American Midwest, fits into the overall narrative of the early units of Big History.  As we move closer to looking at human history, we have also been able to touch base with many scholars who are experts on everything from early humans, Native Americans of Illinois, to experts on the Industrial Revolution and global warming.  When you are able to tap into your local history, the sky is the limit, and often times, these experts in their disciplines are more than happy to come out and share their understandings with your students.

Comment
  • Scale is such a huge concept for 6th graders to wrestle with mentally.  We are constantly looking for ways to bring scale into the equation, and one of the best ways of zooming in and zooming out that we have found is bringing in local history.  Showing students how a particular Threshold of Increasing Complexity relates to their city, town, or location does wonders for making connections to the overall narrative.  For us, we are a University community, so the connections to many of the early units is quite easy.  Dr. James Kaler at the University of Illinois,is a world renowned astronomer who has come and spoken with our students about the life cycle of stars, and has a very impressive collection of meteorites from around the world.  He has been able to make connections for Units 2, 3, and 4, showing the students exactly how our city, in the American Midwest, fits into the overall narrative of the early units of Big History.  As we move closer to looking at human history, we have also been able to touch base with many scholars who are experts on everything from early humans, Native Americans of Illinois, to experts on the Industrial Revolution and global warming.  When you are able to tap into your local history, the sky is the limit, and often times, these experts in their disciplines are more than happy to come out and share their understandings with your students.

Children
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